Several major publishers have reportedly passed on a planned book by Donald Trump Jr., citing concern that he may face legal charges related to the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump Jr. has been pitching a book that would cast a favorable light on his father, President Trump, and his approach to politics, according to a report on Fox Business. But top publishers have given the proposal a “chilly reception.”
“Someone’s going to publish this thing and it will probably sell, but he is getting some pushback from major publishers,” Charles Gasparino, a Fox Business senior correspondent, said on the network. “They’re questioning him about the Mueller probe. They’re worried that he might be charged. Put all that together and people are backing off this thing.”
Gasparino said that publishers have been asking about Trump Jr.’s role in a 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, when he met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who had claimed to have information damaging to his father’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. One publisher told Gasparino, “There was basically no interest in a book that’s basically a defense of daddy book when you’re under federal investigation yourself.”
Despite those qualms, one publisher estimated such a book by Trump Jr. could sell as many as 500,000 copies, strong enough to repay an advance as high as $1 million. The book was to follow on the heels of several best sellers that were critical of the president, including Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury and Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s Russian Roulette.
Last month, Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he couldn’t recall discussing the June 2016 meeting with his father. According to the New York Times, a memo that President Trump’s lawyers sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller acknowledged that the President had dictated a statement about the meeting in Trump Tower that had been released under Trump Jr.’s name.